Keep your skin glowing as brightly as the holidays lights


Don’t let the winter weather keep you from looking your best at this season’s holiday parties.

That’s especially important as we age, since our skin holds onto less moisture. (I know firsthand, as I near a new decade of life – thankfully, with access to greater self-care knowledge than ever before.)

Dry skin also can result from a vitamin D deficiency and from taking statins to lower cholesterol. Of course, that’s more reason to exercise intensely and eat healthily so you can control these situations, if at all possible.

In the same vein, take care in using anti-aging products.

If you have dry or sensitive skin, some products your friends rave about may be too irritating for you and can actually inflame your skin rather than making it appear more youthful, says Dr. Rebecca Tung, a Chicago-area dermatologist.

Tung recommends this easy routine to care for dry skin:
* Wash with warm water -- not hot.
* Use a mild, fragrance free cleanser.
* Pat dry with a soft towel
* Apply a fragrance-free, light non-comedogenic moisturizer (lotion).
* If it’s in the morning, make sure the moisturizer contains a broad spectrum sunscreen.

For your face, some people prefer a tinted moisturizer so they can skip the foundation and moisturizer.
*Repeat the process at night. On your face, it’s important to remove makeup before bedtime to avoid clogging your pores.

If it’s nighttime, you may want to opt for a heavier moisturizer (cream or ointment).

As for supplements, Tung said, remember that recommended daily doses of vitamin D3 are between 1,000 to 2,000 IU per day. So make sure you’re getting enough.

What about the much-touted collagen? Women start losing about 1 percent of collagen – the most bountiful protein in our bodies -- each year around age 20, and the rate increases as the years go by.

This, too, can lead to drier skin.

Doctors cited in peer-reviewed journals and news stories recommend bone broth as a collagen boost, but there’s still little scientific evidence to show that it benefits the skin’s elasticity.

A 2019 literature review in the Journal of Drugs in Dermatology unveiled some statistics showing that collagen could increase skin’s elasticity.

But Tung, the dermatologist, says one of the most effective way to stay hydrated is to drink six to eight glasses of water a day.

Perhaps simplicity remains the answer for more than just gifts during the holidays.

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